See proposed rule
language (CR-103)
2013 Recreational Fishing Rules Concise Explanatory Statement
Fish & Wildlife Commission
Meeting Feb. 8-9, 2013

2013 – 2014 Sportfishing Rule Proposals – Briefing and Public Hearing. Audio available.

Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2013-2014

Sportfishing Rule Proposals & Comments

View proposals and comments on proposals that were submitted by the public and WDFW staff.
There are two types of rules available for viewing.

for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
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Statewide Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW370243

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW370243
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: WDFW Staff
Rules Category:
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Walleye
Rule to Change:
Roosevelt Lake: Walleye: Season: Year-round. No minimum size. Daily limit 8. Only 1 over 22" may be retained.
New Rule Proposal:
Roosevelt Lake: Walleye: Season: Year-round. No minimum size. Daily limit 16. No mmore than 2 fish over 22" may be retained.
Why the change is needed:
The overabundant population of walleye in Roosevelt Lake exhibits a low body condition (many young, skinny walleye). This is a result of reservoir dynamics, consistent large year class recruitment and limited forage. In 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a daily limit of eight walleye (with only one fish over 22”) to reduce the number of small walleye and balance the population. To achieve walleye and trout management objectives, the Department estimated at that time that 75,000 to 100,000 walleye would need to be caught and removed from Roosevelt Lake annually. Between 2007 and 2009 the average number of walleye harvested annually was just under 40,000 fish. Current fishing effort has not been sufficient to achieve the intended level of harvest. To be effective, current modeling suggests the number of walleye harvested annually will need to more than double.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Craig Burley - WDFW Fish Management Division Manager Chris Donley - WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager Marc Divens - Warm Water Team biologist
Describe their support and/or concerns:
General support for increasing the harvest of walleye in Lake Roosevelt.
Submitted by: WHALEN, JOHN T — ,

Date submitted: 06/15/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Recommended for Public Comment     Reference ID: DFW370243

Rule Change Recommendation Short Title
Liberalize bag limits for walleye on Lake Roosevelt and the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt

Rules Category
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater

Type of Rule Change Proposal

County or Location Information
Stevens/Lincoln counties

Short Description
Increase harvest of walleye in Lake Roosevelt.

Updated to clarify Table 1. The explanations for options 2 and 3 were reversed.
The Lake Roosevelt walleye population remains overabundant following the liberalization of harvest regulations in 2007, which were intended to reduce the abundance of walleye in the reservoir. Fall walleye index netting (FWIN) catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) data indicates walleye abundance has not declined (Figure 1) and fish continue to exhibit slow growth and poor condition due to a predator/ prey imbalance within the reservoir. In addition, predation on other game and non-game fish species is a concern at the present abundance level. Creel data indicate that angler harvest (about 50,000 walleye annually) is not sufficient to achieve management objectives (Figure 2). Modeling suggests that an increase in angler harvest to 150,000 annually is necessary to meet management objectives. Opening the Spokane Arm during the walleye spawning season in April and May represents increased recreational opportunity, and four sportfishing regulation alternatives are being considered to allow for an increase in angler harvest (Table 1).


Table 1. Lake Roosevelt sportfishing regulation alternatives. All to include opening of Spokane Arm during April – May.

Option 1 Retain Current 8 fish limit with 1 over 22”
This regulation is not currently meeting the objective to reduce the population through angler harvest.
Option 2 16 fish limit
Based on modeling results this regulation should increase angler harvest of walleye. Exploitation rates for age 9+ fish (22” length plus) will likely increase.
Option 3 16 fish limit with 1 over 22”
Based on modeling results this regulation should provide for increased angler harvest of walleye, while maintaining the current exploitation rate for age 9+ fish (22” length plus) between 30-90%.
Option 4 No regulation on daily limit or size
Biologically, a “no limit” would be acceptable in managing this population. Socially, WDFW understands that this proposal may be unacceptable to constituents.

Original Rule Proposal Number(s)

Online Public Comments

Online public comments submitted for this proposal can be found here.